Saturday, 13 September 2008

CDMA technology

Multiple Access

The concept behind multiple access is to permit a number of users to share a common channel. The two traditional ways of multiple access are Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA) and Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA).

In Frequency Division Multiple Access, the frequency band is divided in slots. Each user gets one frequency slot assigned that is used at will. It could be compared to AM or FM broadcasting radio where each station has a frequency assigned. FDMA demands good filtering.

In Time Division Multiple Access, the frequency band is not partitioned but users are allowed to use it only in predefined intervals of time, one at a time. Thus, TDMA demands synchronization among the users.


CDMA, for Code Division Multiple Access, is different than those traditional ways in that it does not allocate frequency or time in user slots but gives the right to use both to all users simultaneously. To do this, it uses a technique known as Spread Spectrum. In effect, each user is assigned a code which spreads its signal bandwidth in such a way that only the same code can recover it at the receiver end. This method has the property that the unwanted signals with different codes get spread even more by the process, making them like noise to the receiver.

Spread Spectrum
Spread Spectrum is a mean of transmission where the data occupies a larger bandwidth than necessary. Bandwidth spreading is accomplished before the transmission through the use of a code which is independent of the transmitted data. The same code is used to demodulate the data at the receiving end. The following figure illustrate the spreading done on the data signal x(t) by the spreading signal c(t) resulting in the message signal to be transmitted, m(t).
Spread Spectrum

Originally for military use to avoid jamming (interference created on purpose to make a communication channel unusable), spread spectrum modulation is now used in personal communication systems for its superior performance in an interference dominated environment.

Other Info:
Spread Spectrum Techniques by Dr.Jack Glas, an excellent introduction to spread spectrum

Processing Gain
In spread spectrum, the data is modulated by a spreading signal which uses more bandwidth than the data signal. Since multiplication in the time domain corresponds to convolution in the frequency domain, a narrow band signal multiplied by a wide band signal ends up being wide band. One way of doing this is to use a binary waveform as a spreading function, at a higher rate than the data signal.
Processing Gain

Here the three signals corresponds to x(t), c(t) and m(t) discussed above. The first two signals are multiplied together to give the third waveform.

Bits of the spreading signal are called chips. On the above figure, Tb represents the period of one data bit and Tc represents the period of one chip. The chip rate, 1/Tc, is often used to characterize a spread spectrum transmission system.

The Processing Gain or sometimes called the Spreading Factor is defined as the ratio of the information bit duration over the chip duration:

PG = SF = Tb / Tc

Hence, it represents the number of chips contained in one data bit. Higher Processing Gain (PG) means more spreading. High PG also means that more codes can be allocated on the same frequency channel (more on that later).

Other Info:

CDMA Technology
The world is demanding more from wireless communication technologies than ever before as more people around the world are subscribing to wireless. Add in exciting Third-Generation (3G) wireless data services and applications - such as wireless email, web, digital picture taking/sending, assisted-GPS position location applications, video and audio streaming and TV broadcasting - and wireless networks are doing much more than just a few years ago.

This is where CDMA technology fits in. CDMA consistently provides better capacity for voice and data communications than other commercial mobile technologies, allowing more subscribers to connect at any given time, and it is the common platform on which 3G technologies are built.

CDMA is a "spread spectrum" technology, allowing many users to occupy the same time and frequency allocations in a given band/space. As its name implies, CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) assigns unique codes to each communication to differentiate it from others in the same spectrum. In a world of finite spectrum resources, CDMA enables many more people to share the airwaves at the same time than do alternative technologies.

The CDMA air interface is used in both 2G and 3G networks. 2G CDMA standards are branded cdmaOne and include IS-95A and IS-95B. CDMA is the foundation for 3G services: the two dominant IMT-2000 standards, CDMA2000 and WCDMA, are based on CDMA.

cdmaOne: The Family of IS-95 CDMA Technologies
cdmaOne describes a complete wireless system based on the TIA/EIA IS-95 CDMA standard, including IS-95A and IS-95B revisions. It represents the end-to-end wireless system and all the necessary specifications that govern its operation. cdmaOne provides a family of related services including cellular, PCS and fixed wireless (wireless local loop).

CDMA2000: Leading the 3G revolution
CDMA2000 represents a family of ITU-approved, IMT-2000 (3G) standards and includes CDMA2000 1X and CDMA2000 1xEV technologies. They deliver increased network capacity to meet growing demand for wireless services and high-speed data services. CDMA2000 1X was the world's first 3G technology commercially deployed (October 2000).

CDMA Deployments
CDMA is the fastest growing wireless technology and it will continue to grow at a faster pace than any other technology. It is the platform on which 2G and 3G advanced services are built.

Please visit the TIA website for more information on CDMA standards.

Other Info: CDG.ORG

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